The nude mouse is a hairless mutant (homozygous for the mutation nude, nu/nu), which is born lacking a thymus and possesses a severe defect in cellular immunity. Spontaneous unilateral cataractous lesions were noted (during ocular examination using a stereomicroscope at 40X) in 14 of a series of 60 animals (20%). This transmission and scanning microscopic study characterizes the morphology of this cataract and contrasts these data with normal nude mouse lens.
All animals were sacrificed by an ether overdose. Eyes were enucleated and immersed in a mixed fixative (1% osmium tetroxide and 6% glutaraldehyde in Sorenson's phosphate buffer pH 7.4 at 0-4°C) for 3 hours, dehydrated in graded ethanols and embedded in Epon-Araldite for transmission microscopy. Specimens for scanning electron microscopy were fixed similarly, dehydrated in graded ethanols, then to graded changes of Freon 113 and ethanol to 100% Freon 113 and critically point dried in a Bomar critical point dryer using Freon 13 as the transition fluid.